Salem (Beta, Feb 2013) – Arriving in the New World as a new player

by Wournos

So you have signed up to play Salem and have, or are about to, create your character. Now what? This article sheds some light on the first steps in the New World.

At first glance, whether it’s pictures or videos, Salem sparks the interest of the gamer in you. If you are anything like I am you want to get in there to explore, learn and make use of everything right away. Naturally, everything is a learning process and it often takes a “play through” to figure out how to improve.
I'm here to give you the heads up on how to stomp and flatten some of the initial bumps of this online game and to make the early hours as enjoyable as possible.

Prelude

Before we delve into how to start playing Salem I would like to recommend reading up on what kind of game Salem is and also the type of game client I currently recommend. Thumbs up if you have already read them.

Review of Salem Beta, Dec 2012 - Jan 2013
Comparing Salem clients - Default vs Ender's

Character creation

Creating a character in Salem is very easy. After signing in on the client and selecting New Character, just right-click the NPCs (non-playable characters) to your right to select gender, hairstyle and name. Clothes can be found in the chest nearby. Hair colour and facial hair are selected from the colour tub and barber table.

When selecting a name you can choose any kind you want. The exception to this rule is if one of your previously created characters has succumbed to Permadeath and you try to recycle their exact name. That will not work.

Names are not displayed in game. Everyone shows as ‘???’ in chat or in your kin list. If you came with friends, right-click them, select ‘kin’ and they will automatically appear in your kin list, once they accept the invitation. You can also memorize other players by selecting ‘memorize’ and adding your own chosen name in your kin list. Doing this will not make you appear on their kin list.

The display name in the kin menu is what will appear on other player’s kin list. You can change this at any time but unless other players “un-kin” you, your old name will appear in their list.

After you have chosen your name, press ‘Enter’, otherwise the selection will not go through.

You are now ready to board the ship to the New World.

Selecting a name

 

Selecting server city

There are currently 3 servers to play on – Plymouth, Jamestown and Roanoke. Each server has its own land map with its own pros and cons.

Server selection window
Server selection window

Plymouth is the oldest server and is currently dominated by a group of players called The Tribe. They emulate the Native Americans and offer protection in exchange for a small sum of silver each month. I have not played on this server yet.

Jamestown is, along with Roanoke, a new server. No clear statements have been made on who dominates it, which could mean a safer time for hermits and smaller groups.

The entire safe area of Jamestown is easily accessed from the beginning compared to Roanoke.

Roanoke is currently the most active server. The Russians have dominated this server for quite some time. This group of people seems to have no rules and will gladly kill any newcomer that stumbles across the city border. They are, as of April 2013, being contested by the Candy Gang - a group that, supposedly, don't kill random people unless that person has committed a crime.

Parts of the safe area of Roanoke are not accessible right away. There are rivers that require swimming to cross and this skill is not available right away.

 

It is currently not possible to jump servers but there are talks of it being available in the future. Teams should make sure to select the same server from the start.

Entering “Boston”

Should I follow that shady guy right away?

One thing to note after arriving at the town square of the server city is that the teleport button in the Adventure > Travel menu currently says “Boston” on all servers when you hover it. Forgetting which server was chosen is easily done. If that happens, logging out and back in will display “Entering [server name]” all over the screen.

At this point in the game players are pretty much left on their own. Previously, the game guided the player to explore the safe area to find or craft ‘inspirationals’ (covered in this article) and learn skills before suggesting the use of a wilderness guide. This feature has been removed and players are now ushered to speak to a wilderness guide right away.

Don’t.

Wilderness guides will show up to 5 different random places to start the journey. If a selection hasn’t been made on the fourth travel, it will be made on the fifth without consent. The guide will set up a leanto that works as a homestead. From it the player can teleport to the server city and back without losing items in the inventory. However, structures that are not on claimed land will decay over time and vanish, and if the character lacks the skills to build a new leanto all items in the inventory will be lost when teleporting to the server city.

A suggestion made by the wilderness guide
A suggestion made by the wilderness guide

It’s not the end of the world if the complementary travel is used right away but in my opinion it is better for a new player to save the selection for later. Instead, I would recommend exploring the safe area and get used to the controls and camera before venturing into the great beyond.

Salem: initial tips

  • (Optional) If you use Ender’s client, open the radar.xml file in the user/salem/ folder and change the RGB colour value of Timber rattlers.
    <marker pattern="gfx/kritter/rattler/.+" text="Timber Rattler" color="#ff8888" />
    I chose a bright green colour: #00CD00
    The snakes have almost the same mini map colour deer have but are venomous and aggressive. This is not cheating, this is survival!
  • Toggle Town Claim in the bottom left corner to display the safe area.
  • Study inspirationals (smooth stone, devil’s wort, beautiful seashell etc.) even if they offer much more proficiency points than you need. You have little inventory space and will find more items to study as you go.
  • When you study, make sure you eat to restore your Black Bile; otherwise you will get knocked-out and decrease 2 or more random proficiencies by 1 point each.
  • Never ever remain as ‘AFK’ (away from keyboard) when not in the safe server city area. Why? Permadeath!

Leaving safety behind

How you leave is entirely up to you – walking or using the wilderness guide. I have done both and the only downside I see is that you don’t know where you end up if you use the travel option. It could be close to claimed land with its hostile owner nearby, or near bears or snakes; both of which are dangerous.

If you are teaming up with other players then there is only one option – walking together. There is currently no option to use the wilderness guide as a team and it is not possible to teleport to a player who only has a leanto as their homestead. To teleport to another person they need to have already bought a claim and settled down, which is a waste of silver if you want to find a place together.

I personally choose walking while building up my character and finding snake hides to sell.

Salem: exploration tips

  • The first sets of skills to aim for are: Survival Skills, Foraging, Lore of the Lumberwoods, Hiking, Small Game Hunting, Self-Defence, The Rights of Englishmen and Firearms. These open up for unarmed/ranged battle skills, chopping trees, building leantos and killing rabbits and Wartbite Crickets, among other things.
  • Check hollow tree stumps. They may contain silver coins, dried timber rattler hides or ‘inspirationals’ such as cobwebs. The hides can be sold to the white stalls in the city for silver.
  • Make existing available (has no note attached to the side) leantos your homestead and travel to town if needed. It saves time from not having to build your own. Craft 2 bundles of hay whenever possible for when you need to build your own leanto.

Salem wildlife

Be a deer and look after my critters, will you. They r a bit snaky.

There comes a time in every pilgrim’s life when foraging for mushrooms and berries for food aren’t enough. The more educated a pilgrim is the more diversity the Salem wildlife offers. The best critter to target as a newcomer is the Wartbite Cricket.

Crickets are a great source of food in the early stage. When cooked they turn into lovely Crispy Crickets and heal 7.5 Blood, 10 Phlegm, 7.5 Yellow bile and 5 Black bile. Crickets can also be studied or made into Cricket Teams.

The best tactic to kill crickets, after the initial slingshot attack that applies to all animals (equip slingshot in left hand, pick up a stone, aim at animal and Shoot to lure them towards you) is to Punch them and immediately walk away, and keep walking in different directions until the cricket targets you. Turn on Guard and then Punch it when it’s close by.

Salem March HareThe other critter of choice is rabbits. They are easier to kill than crickets but have a slight chance of turning into a March Hare. They are the complete opposite of the cute and cuddly critter you first encounter. If this happens – leave the area if you can or quickly drop everything you are carrying and teleport to the server city.

The best way to kill rabbits (and later March Hares) is to stand still and follow it with the mouse until it comes close to attack you. Punch it, rinse and repeat.

There are other creatures such as bears, beavers, Timber Rattlers, deer and turkeys. They should all be left alone initially because their combat skills will easily knockout the unprepared. Timber Rattlers should be left alone period, in my opinion.

I’m poor. How do I make money?

The currency in the game is silver coins and acquiring these is not the easiest to do in the beginning. One way to earn some silvers is to collect every single dried Timber Rattler hide found in tree stumps. The white stalls in town buy these for 4 silvers each. After learning the skill Small Game Hunting you will be able to hunt Wartbite Crickets and craft Cricket Teams. The white stalls will buy these for 40 silver each.

Many players use the forum to do business. I have chosen not to try this, as I want to play the game instead of chasing trade partners.

Since silver is well sought after I strongly recommend setting up a second beta account and create a character, a “banker”, whose sole purpose is to hold money. If you are a part of a team and you know your friends very well then one of you could create a “banker” on their account.

Now, it can be argued that this is cheating and should be against the rules. Normally, I would agree, but since the game is in beta, and no rules have been made to prevent the use of multiple accounts, use it.

The blue stalls, you ask. They are a means for the rich to get even richer. Players who happened to be around when the stalls became available own these stalls, and the only way to get ones hands on a stall is if an owner gives up theirs.

Whatever happens, don’t get discouraged. Keep at it, and before you know it, you will have gained a small fortune just by selling dried hides.

The introduction of Purity in April 2013 has open up a whole new market. Depending on the level of purity and chemical element of an item, it is possible to sell these for a nice sum of silver.

Purity will be discussed in an upcoming article.

Related articles

Ever wondered what it might’ve been like for the Pilgrims that set foot in the New World? Salem, the game, might shed some light on that.
Choosing the right client to play Salem can mean the difference between life and death of a character.
Gluttony is viewed as a deadly sin – but not in Salem. Instead, it is a means to develop a character’s capabilities. Time to look into the very basics of fine dining.
Building your own property in Salem can turn into a massive migraine without proper planning. This article brings up most of the things to think about.
Updated: 04/26/2013, Wournos
 
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Wournos on 02/14/2013

Haaahaha, funny.
That's good to know about the mouse. I have a Logitech of some sort and haven't had any issues. Maybe I should add a note about that in the main article.

Almost all clothes are player made. The ones that are not are bought from the cash shop. The easiest piece of clothing to make is the one made from burnt milkweed roots (can't remember the name). It requires a fireplace to burn the roots and a bucket of water to clean them. I have one of these sets (hat, shirt, pants) that you can probably have - if you are on Roanoke (looked like it). I can make more once I get online. There was an update this morning so Ender's client isn't compatible at the moment.

JoHarrington on 02/13/2013

Well that was very enjoyable. Paul and I went exploring in Salem. I've got a Kensington Mouse (http://wizzley.com/is-your-computer-m...) and it wouldn't allow me to swivel the screen. I was viewing north all along. This was a bit of a problem when I came to take my clothes out of the chest. They fell on the floor behind the chest and I just couldn't pick them up.

Nakedness ensued.

For the first hour or so, I had the giggles so bad playing this. The surreal nature of just about everything just amused me so greatly. I took some screenshots to show you why:

http://gyazo.com/275b732e81477ea34c55...
http://gyazo.com/104037cb3a6c2c9dd140...
http://gyazo.com/a0c5fd27beb7b277ad95...
http://gyazo.com/720babb20e7f4aa9fb82... (oh no! Snake!)
http://gyazo.com/d120f6b3cdd50407eee6...

Yes, it was enjoyable, so I would recommend too. But how do I get some clothes please?

JoHarrington on 02/13/2013

I failed on the whole picking up clothes thing... http://gyazo.com/275b732e81477ea34c55...

Wournos on 02/13/2013

I had a look at a trailer and it looks like a dark version of every retro game out there. I might just enjoy it. I'll wait for your review though. :)

JoHarrington on 02/13/2013

When I finish it, no doubt I'll knock an article together for it. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not a MMORPG though. It's a puzzle platformer Indie game.

Wournos on 02/13/2013

Haha ok. It'll be fun to have you there.
I must admit, I haven't looked into Closure. I feel I must do that now that you're mentioned it twice. :)

JoHarrington on 02/12/2013

You're making me really want to play this game! I'm still closing in on the moths in Closure, but then I'll be right there.

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